In a rivalry that has been on-going for years, seemingly since the beginning of time, the Thayer Bobcats and Couch Indians took to the hardwood Dec. 10, in a battle of teams linked by Highway 142.
And on this night, the home squads from Couch took two out of the three games played.
The junior varsity Lady Indians worked hard all over the floor to defeat the JV Lady Bobcats 52-18 in the first game of the Friday night triple-header.
The Lady Indians and Lady Cats took center court next and when the final horn sounded, Couch had picked up an impressive 83-51 victory.
Thayer's Lauren Hargus (16 points) went strong to the hoop and Emily Eckman (five points) pulled down some rebounds and nailed a couple of shot from the outside to keep the contest even nearing the end of the first quarter.
Couch sank a 3-point shot to take a 23-19 lead at the end of one.
Riding that wave of momenutm, Couch never looked back and turned on the pressure defense in the second.
Diving into the passing lanes of the Lady Cats for steals, the Lady Indians took over.
Passing around the perimeter looking for the clear shot, Couch was sharp and accurate.
The Lady Bobcats could not contain the quick drives down the lane and inside-outside passing as the Lady Indians pulled ahead with a 42-23 lead at the half.
Good ball handling from Thayer's point guard, Meshila Mullins (seven points), helped find an open Laken Martin (17 points) for points in the paint as the Lady Cats managed 18 points in the third.
Lady Indians' coach Cecil Meyer directed his team to a 21-point quarter, putting the Lady Indians on top 63-41 at the end of three.
A monster game and final quarter was turned in by Couch's senior Lizzie Nessling (19 points), who ripped net from the top of the key, in the paint and at the elbow.
The Lady Indians kept up the pressure down the stretch to top the Lady Bobcats 83-51.
Sarah Neptune led all scorers with a game-high 21 points for Couch.
Alex Hower finished with 18, while Crystal Britt and Cassie Roberts tallied 10 points each.
Melisa Cabrales posted six points for Thayer.
The varsity boys' game action rounded out the final contest of the night with intensity.
The Indians got great ball movement with Brandin (nine points) and Derek Orchard (six points) running the point.
The Bobcats, with a slight height advantage, blocked out well and controlled the boards in a very low scoring first frame. Thayer led 8-4 after one.
Bobcats Ricky Smith (nine points) and Dylan Dennis (four points) had difficulties finding their range and bounced shots off the rim, but hustle and positioning under the bucket from Jared Foley (nine points) and Jeremy Cabrales (two points) led to only a slight advantage.
Couch's Josh Brame took aim and swisheD a trey at the buzzer to tighten the score at 24-22, with Thayer in the lead, at the half. Brame tossed in a game-high 14 points for Couch.
With the intensity of a packed house, the close rivalry continued in frames three and four.
Cabrales had to take a seat on the bench with foul trouble, while freshman Levi Hargove (six points) helped fill in on the floor. The two teams matched numbers on the scoreboard at the end of three, 29-all.
After spending time on the bench for foul trouble, Brame knocked down a couple of long shots and muscled down low to keep the Indians within striking range. Bobcat Lucas Risner (12 points) slashed in for a couple of layups after quick steals and, after quarterbacking the Bobcat team all night from the point, came up big at the free throw line.
Late in the game, the Indians could only send the Bobcats to the charity stripe to stop the clock.
Risner, Smith and Dennis all shot well at the line to push the Bobcats out front 47-40 at the final buzzer.
Austin Henry finished with five points for Thayer.
Dusty Chester ended the game with five points for Couch.